Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Digging out

Phew has it been a crazy last ten months! In the middle of last year I started up my book formatting company, E.M. Tippetts Book Designs, and demand came way faster than I predicted. I even thought I was prepared and had already talked to three extended family members with the skills and interest to join me in the work. Even with four of us, it was really crazy. I pulled at least one all nighter a week, often more, and I have never done all nighters in my life - which is to say stayed up all night working. Due to my sleep disorder I have been up all night many times, but I was always trying to sleep.

Not in boarding school, college, law school, or when I was a lawyer did I do a single all nighter. For the first time in my life, though, I started to get why people do all nighters, how it is that they start something they're so committed to that they do what it takes, even if it means sneaking naps during the day while the kids watch cartoons and begging for help driving places when I was too out of it to do it myself (there the history of a sleep disorder helped. I know who I can count on in this department.)

Even still, it's downright weird to me to see our logo in bestselling books, because we've formatted a lot of bestselling books. I lucked into a very good network of indie writers and we have several big clients. It was a rush to be able to teach my contractors how to format a book and then show them that book ranked 157th or whatever on Amazon the day after it launched.

We managed to work together as a crew without strangling each other, and the business has turned several corners. There was the week when I didn't have to redo anyone's files. Then the week when authors sent us several curveballs and I could explain the fixes over email rather than have to do them myself. There was the week when all the formatters could format the galleys of a book in 24 hours flat. This week was another milestone. We've just finished the first week of the month (always our craziest), and I am not gibbering with exhaustion. Everyone's gotten so skilled at their jobs, and the formatting gets better and better as each formatter gains more confidence in the craft.

So, I'm back, more or less. I got my E.M. Tippetts website in order again, and this one will be next, but it might not show much improvement for a while because I'm not really sure what I want to do with it at the moment. I'll be mulling that over.

For my indie writing, I've also hired a publicist, and that takes a lot of the load off me - not that I'll stop interacting with fans, but I can do it without also having to plan every single blog post, handle every single review request, etc.

I'm back to crafting stuff again, because I'm a fidgety person. This time instead of jewelry, I'm making customized pens and pencil cups and that sort of thing. I've gotten production to the level where I've been able to open an E.M. Tippetts Book Designs Etsy Store. I opted to go that route so that the other formatters can also put things in it. They're all way more talented at handcrafts and such than I, and managing an Etsy store all on your own is very demanding. It's a venue designed for people who upload a new item just about every day. Much easier if we can spread that out some. I'm also making some jewelry pieces on the side, so I may reopen my jewelry store, or I may roll it into the current Etsy store. I'll jump off that bridge when I come to it.

And I'm finishing off another novel. I'll ramble on more about that in another post!

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